The Untold Cost of Ransomware

The nightmare doesn’t stop when you pay a ransom

Ransomware is a big business.

In fact, some experts are predicting that it will be a $5 billion business over the course of 2017!

laptop-with-a-typing-handAnd where there’s money to be made from vulnerable ransomware victims, a new crop of crooks will squeeze in and get their share.

That’s exactly what we’re seeing as people try to Google search or network to find a DIY response to a ransomware note. Con men act as intermediaries to “manage the Bitcoin transaction,” while panicked victims throw exorbitant amounts of money at them to have the ordeal over and done with.

Wait — it gets worse

But you know what’s even scarier than paying a ransom and a con man?

People who use ransomware to be destructive just for fun, not for money.

There was a large ransomware attack in June that may have been entirely malicious — destroying data just for kicks, with no real option to pay the ransom and receive a decryption key.

On top of these untold costs, ransomware of both varieties also hits hard when it costs you days of business, customer trust, and penalties for non-compliance.

You should never be in a position where you have to pay ransom or lose your data to a malicious party

So how do you prevent these sharks from getting into your data and holding it hostage, or worse, destroying it just for fun?

The best defense is a … you know the rest.

The only way to really protect your valuable, private data is to have a watertight game plan that makes waking up to a ransomware note nothing more than a mild annoyance.

Here’s what we mean:

You need to assume you will receive a ransomware attack

Antivirus software is not adequate protection from ransomware attacks.

If you’re leaning on luck and hopes that you remembered to update your antivirus program, you’re a sitting duck.

But it’s safest to assume that we’re all sitting ducks, really, as ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to detect and stop.

So if we assume we’re all going to be attacked at some point, how do we make sure it’s not worth the attacker’s while?

You need to have three key offensive strategies:

  1. Backups
  2. Solid infrastructure
  3. Smart practices

Breaking down the three key strategies

Backups: A ransomware attack is only as powerful as its potential to disrupt your business and life.

If you have an alternative way to recover the compromised data, you can basically sip your coffee and smile at the big scary ransomware note on your screen.

There’s no need to pay the fee or hire a shady broker to help you, because when the attacker destroys the data, you’ll be busy carrying on business with your backup data.

Solid infrastructure: Securing and monitoring your network infrastructure is a vital part of keeping intruders out.

Antivirus programs alone can’t keep out all ransomware threats, but 24/7 real-time monitoring can give you a huge advantage in preventing malware from taking up residence in your network, and it can also help keep your business running smoothly day to day.

red-background-man-phising-the-other-man-computer-passwordSmart practices: Do your employees know the difference between an authentic email and a malicious or phishing ploy?

Maybe? Most likely?

Here’s a wake up call for those of us who have a hard time staying on top of employee internet safety trainings:

Phishing emails have a 36% open rate among employees.

It’s vital that your employees (including brand new hires) are thoroughly and regularly trained in safe internet practices.

One final way ransomware is costing you money

Having a good offense with the three keys mentioned above will extinguish your fear of ransomware, but there’s another hidden way that it’s sneaking money away from you.

If you’re taking a DIY approach to managing your backups, security, monitoring, and employee training, you’re losing money.

It’s worth investing in an IT team with integrity that will do the hard work and keep everything up to date, including employee trainings, so you can invest yourself in your company — doing what you do best.

You do what you do best and we’ll do what we do best

There’s a time to DIY, and a time to get in touch with Varay.

We’re here as a trusted partner to help keep you and your business secure, and to save you money.

It’s a great feeling to know that your business is in good hands, and running at peak performance. It’s also great when you can turn your focus away from security fears and back to doing the job you love.

How safe are you from ransomware?

We can tell you, and it’s on the house

Contact us today to set up a free visit to determine your IT score and gain a better understanding of your strengths and vulnerabilities.